Has Facebook's Reputation Reached A Point Of No Return?
Facebook has probably just experienced the most chaotic month of its existence. A first salvo was carried by a former employee of the firm, Frances Haugen . Internal documents in support, she made her revelations through the press.
By YEET MAGAZINE | Updated 0439 GMT (1239 HKT) October 16, 2021
Despite the accusations leveled against the firm, its turnover has so far been spared. But the tide could turn if young people continue to flee the social network.
Facebook has probably just experienced the most chaotic month of its existence. A first salvo was carried by a former employee of the firm, Frances Haugen . Internal documents in support, she made her revelations through the press. She accuses Instagram executives of choosing to deliberately ignore the negative impact the social network has on teen mental health and its propensity to promote misinformation.
On October 4, Facebook faced a historic outage that left its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms inaccessible for more than six hours. This incident occurred when the company had already to defend itself in court. The group is suspected of having abused its dominant position during the takeover of Instagram and WhatsApp. A procedure is ongoing. In short, Mark Zuckerberg should not sleep soundly.
However, this is not the first time that Facebook has come under fire from critics. In July, Joe Biden accused the company of "killing people" by allowing misinformation about vaccines to proliferate on social media that belongs to him. In 2020, a whistleblower had already cast shame on Facebook. His alarms relating to the political manipulations taking place on the platform have remained dead letters.
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But so far, the business hasn't been hit where it hurts. In the second quarter of 2021, the group's profits jumped 26% over one year, reaching $ 29 billion (25 billion euros). Its clientele grew by 12%. Enough to convince investors to remain loyal to this goose that lays golden eggs.
But these things are just the tree that hides the forest. Facebook has cause for concern, even if the media have not yet taken up the subject, reports The Economist . Among the documents that Frances Haugen took away by slamming the door would hide the figures allowing to take the measure of the disaffection of the young people.
Internal projections show a decrease in the engagement of teens. By leaving the ship, these younger generations could carry 45% of American users in their wake within two years. The company denies.
The trend, however, is only confirmed: four years ago, 93% of young people aged 17 to 27 used Facebook, against only 54% in 2020 - and up to 28% for 16-18 year olds, according to the figures. by Diplomeo . Since a problem never comes alone, young people are very sensitive to the prestige of companies.
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Facebook's reputation may well be “approaching a point of no return, warns The Economist. Even when [Mark Zuckerberg] gives convincing and rational answers to Ms. Haugen, people don't want to hear her anymore. It is ridiculed or even completely ignored ”. The weekly drives home the point: “The company risks joining the ranks of the pariahs in the same way as the tobacco manufacturers. If this idea takes hold, Facebook also risks seeing its young and progressive employees slip away. ”